LA Angels fail to land big name free agent starting pitcher, need to rely on trade market

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Announce Mike Trout Contract Extension
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Announce Mike Trout Contract Extension / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

With the announcement of Marcus Stroman going to the Cubs, the door's closed on all the top starting pitchers in free agency for the Angels.

While the LA Angels tried to bolster the rotation by adding depth pieces like Noah Syndergaard and Michael Lorenzen, they failed to land a bona fide ace.

Yes, all of the starting pitchers in the free agent market had questions regarding legitimacy and health, but they all landed huge multi-year contracts that could propel their respected teams.

The LA Angels missed the big ones.

While it seems likely that Stroman cared more about where he wanted to pitch, than for how much he was to earn (based on signing with the Cubs), there were plenty of other options the Angels could've gone for. This included the likes of Justin Verlander, Robbie Ray, Max Scherzer, and Kevin Gausman, all of whom had reported interest by the LA Angels. All of these pitchers received multi-year deals that hope to not only impact their starting rotations right now, but for the future.

While various statistics might support the argument that all of these pitchers could face regression, it still doesn't hide the fact that the LA Angels are missing a big name in the rotation that can lead the team.

This is no disrespect to the likes of Syndergaard or Lorenzen, but those moves are certainly depth pieces only and should only be seen as that. They both came on one-year deals with something to prove to not only the Angels, but to possibly other teams that could use them in the future. While it did take convincing from Angels GM, Perry Minasian, to get them to sign with the team, they aren't committed to staying on the team.

The LA Angels may look to the trade market.

With all of the top tier starting pitchers now off the market, the Angels might be looking at possibly trading for a pitcher with ace-type stuff.

The price will definitely be high for Luis Castillo and rightfully so, as he's had fantastic numbers with the Reds with his best year coming in 2019. That year, he had a 3.40 ERA in 190.2 innings of work and his first All-Star appearance. He's also been able to show consistency in the rotation, as he's been able to throw 160+ innings in 2018, 2019, and 2021. The Angels have some prospect capital to trade that could allow them to pull off a move such as this one.

Next. Angels make big mistake. dark

While the Angels have shown signs of commitment towards the bullpen by locking up Iglesias and adding Aaron Loup to give them solid 8th and 9th inning options, the main focus on many Angels fans has been starting pitching. Yes, they did go out and get pitching, but only in terms of depth. It remains to be seen on whether the Angels will commit to getting someone that can confidently lead the rotation for next season and beyond.